How to Make Money with Forum Marketing

Forum Marketing is an easy way to make money on the internet. The major advantage is that you don’t need to have a website or blog to do it.

What is a forum?

A forum is a website where like minded people get together to discuss a specific topic. Within the forum a user can post a ‘thread’ which is simply a topic for discussion. There could be hundreds of different threads going at any one time. Once a thread is posted other users can login and leave a response. Each response is added to the thread and hundreds or even thousands of responses can be posted.

To make money on forums you simply register with a forum and start posting your own responses to threads or you can even create your own threads. At the bottom of each response you leave you add one or more affiliate links to a product.

However, you don’t have to add it manually each time you make a post as forums have what’s known as a signature section where you can add your affiliate links. You only have to do this once and then each time you make a post to the forum your affiliate links will show up automatically at the bottom of your response.

The whole point to this is that you are trying to get readers of the forum to click on your affiliate links. The more posts you make, the more times your links will show up and the more likely they will get clicked on by a reader of the forum.

Step 1: Find a product to market

Before you can start making money with forum marketing you need to actually find a product to market. This doesn’t mean that you have to actually go out and purchase stock to sell. Instead you can become an affiliate and promote someone else’s product and make a commission with each person you refer who makes a purchase of that product.

You can find products in a variety of places but our recommendation is to start with Clickbank as it is easy to use and it has a range of very marketable products.

1. Sign up with Clickbank.

Your first step is to sign up with Clickbank. It’s free and once you have registered you will be ready to start choosing products to promote. Clickbank is the biggest online intermediary for digital downloadable products.

You can also find products at:

Commission Junction
Linkshare
ShareaSale

2. Click on Marketplace

At the top of the Clickbank screen is a link called ‘Marketplace’. Click on this link and start searching for products. There are thousands to choose from so you need to be a little bit picky as to what you choose as not all products will sell well.

If you are new to all of this, the best thing to do is to find a product that you are interested in. This will make it easier for you when you start leaving forum posts as at least you will have some knowledge of the topic. For instance, if you play the guitar then type in ‘guitar’ into the Clickbank search and see what products come up.

Now the absolute best thing you can do is actually buy the product yourself so you know that it is a quality product. That of course isn’t always practical so look for products that have a high gravity. What this actually means is that a lot of affiliates are promoting it which gives us an indication that it sells well.

Step 2: Find Related Forums

Once you have a product, you need to find forums that relate to your product. For instance, if you chose a dog training ebook then you need to look for forums relating to dogs, animals or pets. To do this head on over to Google search and type in variations of product keywords with the word ‘forum’. For example:

– ‘dog forum’
– ‘puppy forum’
– ‘animal forum’
– ‘pet forum’

This should provide you with a list of related forums that you can start adding comments to. Ensure that each forum is fairly active as your posts will be wasted. To do this just check the number of posts left and check the dates added. If the dates are within the past few days then you know that the forum is fairly active.

What to look for:

  • Read the forum rules first before signing up.
  • Ensure they allow signatures in your posts and allow affiliate links
  • Ensure they are active

Step 3: Sign up for each forum

Now you need to register with each related forum. Just look for a place on the forum page called ‘Register’ or something similar.

Step 4: Start leaving posts

Before you start adding affiliate links it is important that you read the rules of the forum. You should also spend some time just reading through the forum to see what sorts of discussions are going on and what questions are being asked.

To do this, click on a thread that interests you and read what the person has to say. You will probably find responses under that initial thread so read each of those as well as it will give you an idea of what sorts of things are spoken about.

If you have something to contribute then look for a button or link that allows you to respond. It will be say something like ‘Respond to this thread’ or ‘Reply’ or ‘Add a response’. Just click on that and you will be presented with a box where you can type in your response. Once you have done that just click on the button or link that allows you to post to the forum. It will say something like ‘Save’ or ‘Post’ or ‘Submit’ or something similar.

Don’t be shy about making posts. You have to start somewhere so just provide your thoughts and then move onto the next thread. Add four or five responses to get the hang of it.

Important

1. Never spam the forum. In other words don’t write your posts just to promote your product. You will be thrown out of the forum quick smart if you do this. You don’t want to even mention the product you are promoting in your responses. This is done via your signature which we will come to next.

2. Never leave short answers like ‘nice post’ or ‘great idea’. This is not contributing to the forum in any way and again you will probably be thrown out. Leave good quality responses that provide value to the forum.

Step 5: Add your signature

Most forums have a signature section which allows you to add some text and a link or two below each of your forum posts. Some forums require you to add a certain amount of posts before you can add a signature. This may well be worth the effort if the forum is very active.

To add a signature look for the CPanel or CP or user admin area of the forum. You have to be logged in to access this section. Once in this area you may need to click around on the menu bar to see where the signature section is hidden. It is not always obvious.

Once you have found it you will need to add the Clickbank hoplink to this section. To get your Clickbank hoplink you just click on the “create hoplink” link under the product your are going to promote and then type in your Clickbank nickname. You would have created this when you registered with Clickbank.

BUT you don’t just want to add the link to the signature section as that would be really boring and nobody would click on it. You need to find something that will entice the person to click so start thinking of a catchy phrase or sentence that you can use to incorporate with your affiliate link. For instance if you are promoting a dog ebook then you might use one of the following:

– Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how.
– In just five minutes you can teach your dog to sit. Click here to see how.
– My dog was a biter. Click here to see how I fixed it.

Now you don’t want to lie here and make up stories so ensure that what you say in your signature is accurate.

Now you just need to combine your text with your Clickbank hoplink. Forums usually use a type of code called BBCode which uses a system of tags, There are a number of tags we can use but for our affiliate link we want to use the [url] tag.

So lets just say we have our text that we want to use which is: “Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how” and we also have our Clickbank hoplink which is http://www.myclickbanknickname.dogtrainingebook.com.

Now we want the reader to be able to click on the words ‘Click here’ in our piece of text so we need to add a link to those words. To create the code for this we do the following:

[url=http://www.myclickbanknickname.dogtrainingebook.com]Click here[/url]

We then add our text around this as follows:

Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. [url=http://www.wspc25.dogtrainingebook.com]Click here[/url] to see how.

This will display as follows:

Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how.

Once you have done this then save your changes and click the Preview link if the forum has one so you can see if your link works. If they don’t have a preview link then the only way to check is to create a post in the forum and see if your signature shows up correctly at the end of your post.

Now What?

Just start leaving as many forum posts as you can on as many forums as you can. But always keep in mind that you need to provide value to the forum by writing good quality responses. You are better off in the long run providing quality rather than quantity as other readers are more likely to click on your link if you have something of value to say.

Good Luck!!

Top 5 Ways to Make Money Online Without Spending Anything

How to make money online without spending anythingWe subscribe to the Wealthy Affiliate University, a program where the emphasis is on making money online without having to spend anything to do it. This encompasses what is known as bum marketing – a phrase coined by Travis Sago and is fast becoming the term used to describe free internet marketing techniques.

These techniques are perfect for anyone who is just beginning to learn how to make money online, because all that is required is a person’s time. Also, these methods can be tried and tested without concern that money may be lost in the process. It’s the perfect way to learn.

These methods will still work regardless of whether you are working full time, part time or not at all. The rewards are really based on how much effort you put into it.

The most common problem for people who are not making money using these methods is that they expect to just put up a Squidoo lens or write a couple of articles and have the money start rolling in. It just doesn’t work that way. You need to maintain a consistent effort and keep at it for this to work. Also, don’t just stick to only one of the methods listed below. Try two or three but don’t overdo it. Just keep going and see what works best for you.

For any of these methods to work you first need to register with the following which are all free to join:

1. Clickbank – Here you will find digital downloadable products to promote. Clickbank acts as the middleman between the merchants who sell the products and you, the person promoting the product. It bundles all of the products into one spot so you don’t have to contact each merchant individually to find products. Clickbank also organizes the commissions that you receive and ensures that you are paid.

2. Other Affiliate Networks – If you are looking for other products, other than those offered by Clickbank, to promote then you will need to join up with networks like cj.com, shareasale.com or linkshare.com.

3. Paypal – If you don’t have a Paypal account then you will find it very difficult to make money online as it is currently the most widely used payment system on the internet today. As you make money using Clickbank they will depostit your payments into to your Paypal account. So make joining Paypal a priority.
So now here is what you have been waiting for…five ways you can make money online without having to spend anything to do it:

1. Squidoo

Squidoo is a website developed by Seth Godin. It allows people to develop a page of content about a subject and they can create as many pages as they like. Each of these pages is called a lens.
The benefits of using Squidoo are that it is ranked well by Google so not as much effort is required by you to get your lens ranked. There is also a pre-made audience so you don’t have to work so hard at generating traffic. And lastly, Squidoo allows you to include affiliate links on your lens which means that you can promote one or more products.

The key with Squidoo is to choose keywords that are not too competitive so that you can rank quite easily in Google.

How does it work?

1. Choose a topic – preferably one that you are interested in but also one that has the potential to make money i.e. it has at least one product that can be sold on your lens.
2. Choose a non-competitive keyword that relates to this topic – see instructions at the end of this article.
3. Create a lens using the main keyword chosen from step 2.
4. Add content.
5. Add affiliate links for products to your lens – use CJ, Linkshare or Clickbank to find products. They will provide you with the code to add to your lens to create an affiliate link.
6. Work on getting traffic to your lens.

Now I could go into much more detail here but I have developed an in depth Squidoo eCourse that takes you through step-by-step from start to finish so sign up here and you will soon be well on your way to making money online with Squidoo.

2. Classified ADs

Classified ad sites allow you to place ads for products that you want to promote. You basically create an ad, then add an affiliate link in the ad which links to a product that you are promoting. It’s easy, takes minimal time, costs nothing and you can add as many ads as you want. The trick with this however, is finding keywords that are non-competitive to use in the title and content of your ad so that you can easily rank on the first page of Google – see instructions below on finding non-competitive keywords.

There are quite a few classified ad sites on the net but one of the best for this type of work is USFreeAds. They allow affiliate links in their ads and you can submit ads for free. If you have some money to spare then it is worthwhile paying the $9.95 per month membership which allows for unlimited ads, greater functionality and better looking ads.

3. Article Marketing

Article marketing is very popular because it is relatively easy and it works. It involves writing articles and submitting them to article directories. Don’t be concerned that you may not have the writing skills to get this to work. You don’t need to be an expert writer to create articles. Take a look at ezinearticles.com to see what others have written about .

If you are really concerned that you may not be able to write your own quality, informative articles and you have a few extra dollars to spend then head on over to Elance.com and get a professional to write the article for you. You can get an article written from anywhere between $5-$30 depending on the word length.

How does it work?

1. Choose a product to promote – take a look at Clickbank for products.
2. Choose a non-competitive keyword that relates to this product. Use the free Wordtracker tool for this. See instructions at the end of this article for how to do this.
3. Write an article based on this keyword. It only needs to be between 300-500 words and the best types of articles are tips, hints or lists. Use the keyword/s in the title and in the content of the article.
4. Add your affiliate link in the bio at the end of the article – you will get the code for the link from Clickbank also known as a hoplink.
5. Submit the article to an article directory. The best one for this is Goarticles. Ezine Articles is actually better but they currently don’t allow affiliate links in any articles submitted to their site. If you want to use Ezine Articles then you need to set up your own website to link to and act as the middleman between the article and the product you are trying to promote.

4. Forum Marketing

This is another simple and easy approach to making money online. However, one of the most critical parts of this task is that you don’t spam the forums. You need to provide value to that forum. Help people out by answering questions and provide suggestions and try and make each post useful in some way. The more valuable your post then the more likely someone will click on your signature. Go for quality rather than quantity.

How does it work?

1. Choose a product to promote – use Clickbank for this.
2. Find a related forum. For example, if you product is a dog training eBook then look for dog or pet forums.
3. Add your affiliate link in the signature section – note that some forums don’t allow affiliate links.
4. Make lots of good quality posts.
5. Hopefully other forum readers will like what you have to say and will click on the affiliate link in your signature file.

5. Start a Blog

If you like to write and think you can do it on a consistent basis then a blog might be the answer. Google loves blogs because of the regularly updated content. The key is developing good content and posting regularly.

How does it work?

1. Choose a topic, preferably something you are interested in as you will be more likely to stick at it if you have a passion for the topic.
2. Ensure the topic has related products that you can promote on your blog. Check out Clickbank, CJ and Linkshare for this.
3. Create a blog – you can use the free blogging accounts at either Blogger.com or WordPress.com for this. Note: If you are really serious about blogging, you should consider getting your own domain name and hosting which will cost you some money, but it is recommended.
4. Add content on a regular basis. Every 2 or 3 days at a minimum.
5. Add affiliate links to your blog. Don’t overdo it. You don’t just want a blog full of spammy ads.

Finding a Niche

Each of the methods above requires one important step. Without this step none of these methods will work effectively, if at all. This step involves finding keywords that have little to no competition so that you can easily rank in Google. At this point, this probably makes little sense to you so let’s use an example to make it clearer.

Suppose we have gone into Clickbank and selected a product to market. For our example, we will assume we have chosen a dog training ebook. Now we have our product we decide to do a bit of article marketing and develop an article or two to promote this product But the first thing we need to do even before we start writing is to find some keywords to use in our articles.

Using the right keywords helps Google (and the other search engines) determine what our article is about. If you choose non-competitive keywords ie. keywords that don’t have a lot of other competing websites, then you will be more likely to rank highly in Google for that article and therefore receive more traffic.

So how do you choose your keywords?

You can use the free Wordtracker tool for this. In the search field enter the main keyword for your topic or product – in our case it would be ‘dog training’. The search will offer up a number of results that relate to your main keywords. What you are looking for is a keyword that is searched for at least 100 times a day if possible.

Once you have found a keyword head on over to www.google.com and type it into the search field using quotes eg. “dog training tips” and press Enter. On that page of results Google will display the results and also the number of competing websites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our example, we can see we have to compete with over 270,000 websites. That is way too many. We want to keep this figure under 5000 and even less if we can. So go back to your Wordtracker list and choose another keyword. Keep doing this until you have found a low competitive keyword or keyword phrase. This will be the one you use to write your articles and create free ads.